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A woman with blonde hair holding a yellow ball and blue paddle on a pickleball court.
Photograph: Aleksander Saks | Unsplash | Pickleball

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide and the craze is sweeping Australia

If you want to see what all the fuss is about and give it a try, here's where you can play in Melbourne

Written by
Alice Ellis
Lisa Hamilton
Liv Condous

If you've been feeling like you're in a bit of a rut with trying to keep active, we get you. There's only so many times one can go to the gym and try to pretend they know what they're doing on those weird weights machines. Luckily for us, there's a fun new sporting trend that's picking up across Australia and judging by its popularity, it's worth checking out. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and popularity is surging in across the country. Figures from the Pickleball Australia Association (PAA) show that about 25,000 people across the country play – and plenty of those players are in Victoria. 

So, what is pickleball?

Pickleball is a bit like tennis – two to four players hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball over a net until the player/s on one side are unable to return it or do something wrong; though the ball is hit with little paddles, and it's played on a smaller court (outdoors or indoors) than tennis is. The sport was first played in the US back in 1965, and it brings together elements of tennis with badminton and table tennis.

Hands holding a ball and paddle on a pickleball court.
Photograph: Aleksander Saks | Unsplash | Pickleball

In VIC the sport is becoming more and more popular all the time. According to Pickleball Victoria, there are now 28 centres around Melbourne, and you can play in 16 other locations across regional Victoria. 

Can anyone play pickleball?

Part of the rise in popularity of pickleball is thanks to the accessibility of the sport. It's easy to pick up, it's social, it's fun, and anyone can play: kids, older people, and people with a disability.

Four people playing pickleball on a red court.
Photograph: Lesli Whitecotton | Unsplash | Pickleball

A whole lot of new people started picking up paddles during the pandemic when people were looking for ways to stay active while physically distancing, and pickleball found appeal with new generations.

Where to play pickleball in Melbourne or VIC?

If you’re keen on giving pickleball a go, visit Pickleball Victoria to find your nearest pickleball centre.

Get active with these recommendations:

The best running clubs in Melbourne

Check out the best day hikes in Melbourne

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